NGD: Sully 624T!! The "Charvel Killer"

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by feraledge, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. feraledge

    feraledge Heard the Good News about Maple Fretboards?

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    Let's get some pics first then my typical wordy NGD to follow.
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    Here's the skinny: this guitar is amazing. If you want a customized, heretic's "supertele" style guitar, there is no better option IMO than Sully. He's awesome to work with, the guitar shreds. If you like Jackson, Charvel and guitars in general, he's speaking your language. Buy one.
    In fact, he's doing a batch based on this build. Get down on it.
    Sully's Bad Ass 624T Super Batch!!

    Now here's the fat: I've been following Sully's Guitar Garage videos on Youtube for years. It's because of him that I've felt comfortable taking on more and more of my own tech work and modifications. I originally wrote him back in 2012 about getting a refret done on a guitar, but ended up selling it instead.
    Even from that, his responses were quick, pricing was great. I had resolved that he was the dude to get something done if need be.
    Fast forward and we have Sully Guitars arising. See some NGDs go through, stalk the builds a while, things are looking good. 2015 I get a similar 624T priced out, it's very reasonable, sticks in my mind.
    And we all know how this ends...
    Late November 2015, I put down a deposit on this bad boy.

    Here's the specs:
    • Alder body
    • 3 piece Maple neck
    • Bird's Eye Maple fretboard
    • Offset slash inlays
    • 12-16" Compound radius
    • Thin C/D profile
    • Speed neck thinness
    • Direct Mount pickups
    • 1 Volume/3 Way toggle
    • Original Floyd Rose
    • Hipshot open gear tuners
    • Stainless Steel jumbo frets
    • Oiled neck and fretboard
    • Seymour Duncan Nazgul/Sentient PUPs
    My general impression of the guitar: It shreds. The build quality is top notch, the attention to detail is spot on. The woods are all great and the guitar sings amazingly. I put a lot of faith into Sully's builds after kind of stalking them for a while and was not disappointed at all.

    Let's talk about the body: I'm a death metal/grindcore/crust dude through and through, but I'd be lying through my teeth if I was to attempt to deny how heavily impacted and central metal and heavy metal was to me as a child of the 80s. More to the point, how much hair metal imprinted on me.
    I've always had a thing for telecaster style guitars, but not the specs. I thought the Charvel San Dimas Style 2 was my salvation: the epitome of "supertele". However, when I finally snagged one of those grails, I had to be honest about the fact that it didn't feel as natural to me as my San Dimas Style 1. Great guitar, but still kind of a "slab" feeling and felt almost more like a Les Paul than the "superstrat" feel I prefer. We parted ways, but I didn't stop looking.
    2015, Charvel starts inching in the Custom Select style options, I test the waters: SD Style 2s are on the secret menu, but the customizable options are nothing like what I wanted: heavy contours for ultimate comfort.
    Sully offered all this and more. I couldn't resist.
    He's been exceptionally responsive to my requests and vision. The end result is an absolute product of collaboration and trust. I might have gotten Sully to do a double take over my request for the Strat-esque round over routing. Wince a bit about the white pickups and direct mounts. The contours on the other hand, we were pretty much on the same page with all of that from the get go. In the end, you could say we were both more than pleased. So much so that some of those changes are now standard options or standard defaults.
    Get yours!
    It's also everything I wanted from a "supertele" style guitar. I wanted it to feel like the comfort food of a guitar that a cozy strat can be. No question there.
    10/10.

    Let's talk a sec about these curves:

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    So we have forearm contour, super sculpted neck joint, gut cut, and Sully's innovative knee cut. It doesn't get better than this. 10/10
    I'll get to the neck joint in a minute.

    Build quality: Pricing is criminally on par with Jackson USA models which it easily meets or exceeds. I found zero issues and you won't either. If there's a hiccup, no BS here, Sully will cop to it and fix it. Woods are awesome, neck joint is tight, routes are smooth, transitions (and there are many with all these contours) are all flawless.
    Amazing guitar with tons of thought put into it: I foresee no issues and it sings.
    Side note: T bolts and inserts for the neck screws? Amazing. Not much reason to remove the neck given that it's a headstock truss access, but icing on a delicious cake. Puts my mind at ease a bit, perhaps needlessly, but ya know.
    10/10.

    All things neck related: aka "The Charvel Killer":
    First off, beauty bird's eye maple was a Sully treat.
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    This is my first time owning a guitar with stainless steel frets. And it's quickly apparent why they get so much hype: the feel of bending is immediately noticeable as different and smoother. That they'll last longer is even better, but this is an amazing "standard" option from a builder. Definitely dig this!
    Fret work is all top notch, zero complaints. Shiny happy rails, nothing laid in badly, nothing protruding. Solid.

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    Neck shape is a thin "C/D" profile with speed neck thinness. 12-16" compound radius and with the oiled fretboard and neck, perfect. I'm not sure if Sully went rounder on mine than usual, I'll certainly let him interject if he wishes. But I knew I told him how much I love Charvel necks, but could always go a little thinner. This is very on par in terms of thinness with my oiled ESP Custom Horizon which is an extra thin U (though more C than U).
    But there's immediately something familiar to the carve here and the Grover Jackson-Spirit Animal shines on the neck most obviously: this is like taking my favorite parts of a DK1 neck and a Charvel neck, mixing them together and then going a little thinner. It's a very fast neck. The oiled finish just makes it that much faster.
    Now, I've been loving calling this the "Charvel Killer". Probably fairly obvious if you've dedicated a full bowel movement on reading all of this or lost a work break into it: I love Charvels. I love Jackson. Since I'm an ESP nerd my main draw with both brands is fairly specific: Dinkys, San Dimas, and So Cals. I prefer the comfort and aesthetics of the SD and SC on many levels, though the DK1 will always hold a place in my heart for being a metal machine.
    Everything that draws me to those models is in this guitar.
    What puts it over the top?
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    That neck pocket and super sculpt is like a damn glove! All those times I tell myself the boxy Charvel neck joint is never in the way? I think I just love the guitar so much that I learn to live with it. Sully gives me my cake AND I get to shred it too!
    Next to my MiM So Cal for comparison:
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    If you're a Jackson or Charvel fan, you really need to do yourself the favor of checking these out. Again, the 624/624T are priced pretty much right alongside the USA Dinkys and Charvels, but you get a lot more comfort and customization which all goes a long way.
    Of course, I think there's plenty in Sully's work to appeal to many others and there are many shapes that are far more Sully than the 624, but his thought and experimentation truly gives this a signature vibe that doesn't come off the rack anywhere else.
    10/10

    The finish, the sound & perks:
    I was a pain in the ass about the color probably, but Sully was always too nice to back down from it. Started with Gretsch's "Alpine Green", but it's not consistently photographed or documented and apparently they didn't want anyone else using it. Regardless, Sully got an idea of what I was going for, I grabbed some paint swatches, some scanning, some tweaking, and here we have it: what is now officially dubbed "Feral Green" in the Sully color palette.
    I love it. I know going flat color on a custom is a no no, but I had visualized this guitar and Sully actualized it perfectly. The color ties it in for me and no issues with the finish, everything is as it should be. Not ridiculously thick poly.
    I think the wear over time will show in this guitar, which makes sense as Sully told me he wants people to have guitars made that they will "play the paint off of them." Clearly a guitar that was meant to be played. That ensures that it's a guitar that will be played.
    Color matched logo? Perks!!
    I'm fond of muted colors, dig a lot of sea foam and surf greens, things like that, but my twin daughters have an eye color that's distinct, kind of like a brighter version of my wife: blue with tints of green, sometimes an almost grey hue to them. I thought about getting a fancy top on a guitar and trying to get a burst to match, but figured it would be too complicated and also horrible if it didn't translate to a burst. So this color, to me, kind of pulls out that essence of their beautiful eye color/s.
    And on that note: noiseless springs, Sully included them, I'm never going without them again. Solid perk!
    Sound: as I mentioned, it's all top notch and skillful execution here. It sounds amazing, the sustain is awesome. I provided the Nazgul/Sentient pickups and I know them well. They play together really well, the Nazgul has clarity and brutality on lockdown. I may, in time, end up getting another one of my Custom SDs in the bridge (tweaked Nazgul), but for now it's fine. I love the contrast of the white pickups with the finish and black hardware. None of those lousy pickup rings to muddy the looks either!
    10/10

    What's it's like working with Sully?
    195. That's how many emails we have back and forth from the quick count I just did. That's not including conversations over this board, in threads, or whatever else (a whole lot of IG over the last week or so). I think the longest it took to get a reply is me writing at like 2 AM and Sully writing me back in the morning.
    Pretty damn solid.
    This felt like a true collaboration. Sully has said as much as well in his videos and I believe him. He brought awesome ideas to the table (offset slashes! for example) and I gave some ideas that he was willing to try. That there's a run based off this makes it feel like we are seemingly both happy with the result and the process.
    From all of his sites, videos, etc: he's fueled by tacos and the guitars are built by rock and roll, but what's most apparent is his love and knowledge. This is a dude who tinkered for a long time before really getting rolling with building. And it shows.
    In this era/bubble of fly-by-night/scam-by-day luthiers, it's hard to imagine wanting to trust many of them to build an awesome guitar, hand them money, or trust that you're getting what you want in the end. Having watched his videos for years and seeing the brand progress/pestering people like Pat and Russ who took his classes and got/played the guitars, I felt very comfortable with it.
    It helps that Sully is adamant about transparency with pricing and payments. He does 5 payments at specific points in the process. In reality, I don't think he ever asked me once for money, just sent me progress pics and I threw it his way. I think in my head that would make things move quicker. Possibly a reason why he does it that way too: stay on track, progress as it moves.
    These are the steps of a seasoned business growing: don't overcommit, reply always, give the customer progress and updates as soon as they're ready. Pace the builds.
    That's all good to know as well because Sully is seemingly getting very busy and deservingly so. I feel like I am getting in on the ground level, because he's doing this intelligently and it's likely going to get increasingly harder and more expensive to get a Sully as people pick these guitars up and play them. You're getting a lot more guitar than what you're paying for is what I'm getting at.

    The timeline.
    This is what Sully told me from the start:
    You might look at your calendar and say, "but it's been 10 months, not 4-6." Note: "once construction begins." First progress pic was on February 27th, so less than 7 months once construction began. So important to read. However, it's also worth noting that I was never left hanging. Compared to my ESP Custom build which was, "it'll show up one day and we'll let you know if we have questions," the communication couldn't have been more the exact opposite.
    When work was done, I got updates. When he had questions, thoughts or comments, I got messages. When I had questions, thoughts or comments, Sully had answers and suggestions.
    The paint process is outsourced. I have no complaints there, but it's the only part that Sully isn't touching, so it's hard to hold up to the kind of back and forth you get on all aspects regarding the build and set up. I think about half the time was spent in paint once the construction began.
    So if you go with Sully (and you should), just keep that in mind: the quick speed and responsiveness you get when things are in his hands are limited to them being in his hands. Granted, you have questions, he'll get answers.

    That said, the love that goes into these guitars is above and beyond. Little secret messages in the guitar just go to show that.
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    "Certificate of Authenticity" :lol:
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    So the big questions:
    Would I recommend Sully? Absolutely. In fact, I actively am.
    Would I go with Sully again? Absolutely and likely once the circumstances make it possible to do so.
    Was he timely? Nailed it.
    Was the correspondence good? Above and beyond.
    Is the guitar exactly what you wanted it to be? Arguably better. Itch, scratched. Sorry Charvel, possibly even too good!
    Where the hell are the clips? I'm sick, my wife is sick, my daughters are sick. I'll get there.
    How's it compare to the ESP Custom? Very different guitars, but quality-wise, awesome. Let's say "very complimentary." Tight bros...
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    What have I missed?
    I know some people hate glaring reviews like this, but I'm a fan of honesty and I like people who do awesome work and are awesome to work with. So what's the downside of the whole thing? Let's see if I can find one... Oh, if you want a Sully with a Bigsby? What's wrong with you! If you want a Sully with a crackle finish? That one is unfortunately going to be a hard sell...

    My build thread: http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/showthread.php?t=303560
    Will post up clips as soon as I'm feeling up to it. Will post up some build pics as well.

    Any and all questions, hit me up.
     
    Boojakki, groverj3, NickS and 31 others like this.
  2. Lasik124

    Lasik124 SS.org Regular

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    Love it! It looks like an amazing guitar.

    I also love and appreciate the huge and in depth review. Its reviews like this that keep the community strong and a wealth of knowledge!

    Happy NGD!
     
  3. Carcaridon

    Carcaridon SS.org Regular

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    Wow! When I saw it appear on his feed I thought it looked amazing. I've been wanting a super tele shape and his looks awesome. The specs in this new batch he's doing don't appeal to me but I'm sure they're going to be awesome. Congratulations on a great guitar.
     
  4. feraledge

    feraledge Heard the Good News about Maple Fretboards?

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    Thanks!!

    Glad someone appreciates it! :lol: Be the NGD Poster you wish to see in the world.
     
  5. Blytheryn

    Blytheryn Musical Adam West

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    Finally! Man this looks super sweet, happy it plays like a dream! I'm a huge fan of in depth reviews... Good one. Enjoy your damn axes man!
     
  6. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    That's special.

    2450 dollars over 8 months doesn't even seem so bad, until I consider the prospect of getting murdered by customs charges.
     
  7. Mwoit

    Mwoit SS.org Regular

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    Nice. Excellent pictures and story!
     
  8. Blytheryn

    Blytheryn Musical Adam West

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    If I may say so... Those pink springs are Gucci as fvck.
     
  9. Millul

    Millul SS.org Regular

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    Great review, and super cool guitar!
     
  10. JD27

    JD27 ESP Cult Member

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    That came out amazing. Really nice fretboard and I dig the slashes for fret markers. That 624 build is fairly tempting... Swamp Ash, Pale Moon Ebony, Hipshot, Daphne Blue... I could jiggy with that!
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
  11. Womb raider

    Womb raider Drink from the goblet, the goblet of gore

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    Awesome write up. I have a soft spot for teles and that one does not disappoint just by the looks.
     
  12. StrmRidr

    StrmRidr Hide your Jacksons

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    Never been too big on Tele's but that one is sweet! Love the birdseye board too. HNGD!
     
  13. SullyGuitars

    SullyGuitars Vendor

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    Holy cats, as the guy who built the guitar, I couldn't imagine a nicer review. Thank you for taking the time!

    Feel free to get in touch; I'd be happy to spec something out for you!

    Sully
     
  14. craigny

    craigny Winning...duh

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    WOW...simply amazing. Hit that one out of the park...love, love, love, it. The color is THE BOMB! Although I cannot commit to a custom build right now, let me say that Sully is now at the top of my list!
     
  15. feraledge

    feraledge Heard the Good News about Maple Fretboards?

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    Thanks everyone!

    That combination would be awesome. I have been thinking about a ReVolution with those specs/colors. Daphne blue with PME?! Has to be awesome.

    And Chris, the inner pocket shots were taken at the workbench with a cell phone. Springs are more red than pink. But Gucci AF red perhaps?
     
  16. bloc

    bloc tha vagina finda

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    Holy moly that is nice. I love the little notes he added in the neck pocket. That's really going above and beyond imo.
     
  17. Dawn of the Shred

    Dawn of the Shred Scoop the Mids and Chug

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    Wow that's beautiful! Congrats and HNGD!!!
     
  18. Aso

    Aso Single Hum Zealot Contributor

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    Really nice guitar it turned out great. The review is amazing literary work. Very thorough and complete about what it's like working with Sully and they quality of the guitars(and basses) he builds.

    195 emails to Sully for one guitar? I feel I need to step up my game since I think have less than 1/3rd of that with him from the finished 624 he made me and the forthcoming Elita & Galaxy V he is building for me.
     
  19. Blytheryn

    Blytheryn Musical Adam West

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    Still Gucci. Still awesome. Definitely going to snag some for my guitar. :bowdown:
     
  20. patsanger

    patsanger SS.org Regular

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    As a Sully owner I have to agree with everything you said. Working with him is great and the guitar you end up with is just so perfect.
     

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